It is Wednesday, January 24th. This past week has been exhausting. I started my new job at The Chocolatree Restaurant. I worked Friday through Monday. I’m working today as well. I’ve noticed how much my desire to be perfect and to be liked is present in a work environment. On top of learning how to do something completely new to me, my mental expenditures have been overdrawn. I am so grateful to be working at this particular establishment, because I think it’s a great place to explore my own authentic expression, separate from wanting to please others. It’s odd to say that, working in the food industry and specifically in customer service. But I do believe the work environment would support me trying to shed these layers that no longer serve me.
This all sounds very vague so I’ll give some more concrete scenarios. For example, when a guest asks me for something but I was already in the middle of something else, what shall I do? The old paradigm in my mind says, “The customer is always right and the customer comes first”. But I do believe that the owners of this restaurant and the staff would disagree with those statements. They might ask me, “What do you want to do right now?” Of course, each situation varies. To follow along with the example above, though, I would say that I want to finish bussing this table, clean it, and set it, before moving on to the next task. First, so that I don’t forget. Second, so that it’s ready for the next guests. Then, I would like to get the maple syrup or hot sauce for the guest at B3. And you know what they would reply? Then do that, Stephanie. I appreciate you for being you.
It’s a very different place of employment. During my ‘interview’, David kept asking me how important authenticity and presence were to me. They are very important to me, I replied. Yet, I have never applied them to work. Or to busy, restaurant work. It is a true challenge. Today, I work from 12 to 8pm. Even before I go to work, I intend to check in with myself and ask, “What do I want to do?” Not, “What should I be doing?” Or, “Is this the right thing to do?” Or, even more poignant, “Will they like me if I do this or that?”
I’ve discovered yet another arena (work) in which I get to explore my deepest fears of 1) being wrong, and 2) not being liked.
Saturn is really calling upon me to step up and become my own authority. He’s saying, who are you? And do you like this person? I haven’t been liking myself lately. I’ve been very harsh. Very critical. Whenever I start talking to someone about astrology, a little voice in my head says, “Really, Stephanie? Astrology?! They don’t care about astrology. Also, it’s a little out there”. Although that’s what my mind (or ego) tell me, I get quite the opposite reactions from people. Often, they are intrigued and ask for me to share more about my astrological insights. Wow, a light bulb just went off!
Decisions have been difficult as well, because I have all of these ideas about what I should be doing or what’s most practical or realistic.
I guess I’ve been exhausted because I’ve been bullying myself.
Yesterday was my day off. Also, my ‘integration’ day. I like Tuesdays because I have a regular coaching trade, my coaching class: Art of Engaged Mindfulness, and an astrology discussion group. I also went for tea and a walk near Boynton Canyon with Maria around noon. I took a shower and washed my clothes at Maria’s place. I even stayed the night. I’ve been staying in my car and it has been cold as fuck. I am so grateful to wake up well-rested this morning, in a tank top, and in a warm, cozy and quiet place so I could write.
I had an insight yesterday: I have been so focused on the surviving stuff that I’ve been feeling depressed and lacking the thriving-mode that I’m so comfortable with. Home, work, money, cold, bathroom, food, body. All of these things have been my foremost concerns in the last week. Mainly because it has been cold, as I mentioned earlier. I comforted myself yesterday with the simple phrase: This Too Shall Pass. This cold weather shall pass. In only two weeks time (I’m being optimistic) it will be preferable to be outside at night. The money concerns shall pass. I have already started receiving tip money and I get my first paycheck on January 31. Also, my mom gave me money to cover my bills. The frantic desire to be perfect at work shall pass. Soon enough I will understand the duties of my position and I will be exceptional at performing them, because that’s who I am. My aching body shall pass. I will adjust to the demands of standing for 8 hours. I will do more yoga as it warms up.
I love that phrase. I’m not trying to escape from my current situation. On the contrary, knowing that this will pass, how can I be fully present in this experience and find gratitude for its being. I mean, how can I enjoy the crisp, cold nights. Or how can I enjoy the time where funds are low and creativity and discernment are called upon. It is, what it is. Let me savor every tasty morsel of life. Let me be mindful and write so I can process and integrate.
This is me being authentic.
Thank you to all who read my blog and hold space 💛